Eyes on the clouds

Wet weather key to Mon­star’s Starlight hopes

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - MATT JONES

THE pre­dicted rain for Rose­hill Gar­dens to­day and to­mor­row might just be enough to get The Mon­star back into the win­ners’ cir­cle in the Listed Starlight Stakes.

The Brett Cavanough-trained seven-year-old has been rac­ing in good form of late against the likes of Redzel and In Her Time.

But he’s had to do it on Good 3 sur­faces where he doesn’t fully stretch out and show his best.

The likely Soft track to­mor­row and the drop in grade make him an at­trac­tive run­ner at odds

his trainer says he’s go­ing as well as ever.

“He’s been be­hind the best horses in the coun­try so he’s been good this preparation and he’s where he be­longs in this race,” Cavanough said.

“He’s at that level where it’s tough for him, week-in-week-out.

“I think he’s been at his peak the whole way through this time which is why we never went to


“He’s just got that lit­tle bit of abil­ity.”

Of The Mon­star’s 11 wins, eight of them have come of ground that is Soft or Heavy.

Cavanough said the dif­fer­ence when he races when he can get his toe into the track is a few lengths.

“When it’s wet he’s a lot bet­ter. If it’s any­thing worse than Soft 6 or 7 I’ll be very happy with him be­cause he just hasn’t been able to find those tracks,” he said.

“If gets the sting out of the ground he’ll be more than com­pet­i­tive and he can carry weight. He’s as good as them when he gets it wet.”

The wide draw doesn’t con­cern Cavanough, who said jockey Richard Bens­ley would try and push him to the front.

He opted for in­stead of go­ing for a reg­u­lar metropoli­tan hoop.

“I wanted left-handed whip rider and Richie knows him well

has had a bit of suc­cess on him,” Cavanough said. “When you’re pick­ing a rider for this horse you’ve got to look a gen­uine horse­man who knows him be­cause he’s a bit of quirky bug­ger. “Tommy Berry won on him, a left-handed whip rider, and if you look at a cou­ple of the runs he’s had with right-handed whip rid­ers you’ll see that he won­ders around them a bit.”

The Mon­star’s been rac­ing mainly over 1200m of late but he’s had a cou­ple freshen ups this cam­paign and the drop back 100m in dis­tance won’t mat­ter.

He’s still got speed in his legs, but Cavanough isn’t ex­pect­ing him to get a pic­nic up­front.

“The hard­est part at this level is that there’s al­ways some­thing with speed and gets home hard,” Cavanough said.

“There’s eight horses on the way up and five that are gen­uine com­peti­tors there is no easy Listed race.

“If you think you’re go­ing to get a soft lead in front kid­ding your­self.

“I prob­a­bly don’t give him enough credit for what he’s done this preparation.”

“He’s been be­hind the best horses in coun­try so he’s good this preparation and he’s where he be­longs in race.” BRETT CAVANOUGH

Trainer Brett Cavanough is hop­ing for rain to give The Mon­star an edge in the Starlight Stakes.

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